Poverty and COVID-19
The pandemic COVID-19 is likely to hit the poorest the hardest. The 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index indicates that 1.3 billion people around the world live in multidimensional poverty. OPHI is concerned that COVID-19 will lead to a surge in the number of multidimensionally poor persons in many countries.
Some negative impacts will include:
- Dangerous shortages of food and water for many households as markets and services cease functioning and household savings run out.
- School closures affecting not just children’s educational and social development, but also their access to other child benefits such as school feeding programmes.
- Rising unemployment, especially for those working in the informal sector and gig economies who may lack savings.
- Families – either previously eligible or newly eligible – for targeted benefits unable to receive support due to physical distancing requirements or lack of mobile phones/banking.
In addition to the direct impacts on people, the measurement of multidimensional poverty is already adversely affected and will need to respond:
- Household surveys are needing to find alternative data sources to keep measuring multidimensional poverty amidst the crisis.
- What is measured may also need to change to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on households.
In this section, we share our latest research for both emergency and post-emergency responses.